Trupti Carny, Financial Engineer and Yoga Instructor

What I love the most about yoga is that it gives my body some time and respect, which I often neglect due to the hundreds of things I need to accomplish in a day. It’s like visiting a temple or a church with a feeling of being in unison with the divine energy. The immediate side-effect after every practice is a sense of completeness, composure, higher energy levels, inner wellbeing, strength, stability, calmness, fearlessness, inner faith, happiness, gratitude, compassion, trust in the universe, humility, and peace.

My name is Trupti Carny. From a yogic point of view, we all are a part of the whole and can be introduced as “aham brahmasmi”, which is Sanskrit for “I am the ultimate reality”; or “satchitananda”, which means “existence, consciousness, and bliss”.

Since June 2019, I have been working for Deloitte Analytics as a Financial Engineer, carrying out process management tasks that calculate different risks involved with a real estate client, as well as working on a project on Climate Finance. Prior to this job, I worked for Allianz Global Investors for twelve years, carrying out different roles – the last one being that of a marketing manager in the Global Business Development Institutional and Retail Fund Management. It was an interfacing role with operational and sales support tasks. I worked with different internal departments, but if we consider just the technical link, I worked closely with IT looking for technical solutions for my B2B sales clients. The biggest project I manage is my two boys, who keep me constantly on the go – so much so that I sometimes wish I could produce a clone out of my shadow for just a few hours so as to be in two different places at the same time attending to their respective activities – unfortunately, AI hasn’t reached this level yet!

My current job just came to me almost like a surprise. The climate finance project inspires me personally because, while working on the project and researching, I gather insight which helps me change and contribute to sustainability. My boss, Professor Martin Hellmich, is a very inspirational person because he thoroughly cares, takes global warming very seriously, and does every bit himself (like travelling by train and taking the plane only when it is unavoidable). Our team is very international and open-hearted, so it is fun to work with them.

I was born and brought up in Bombay/Mumbai in India. Love displaced me from Bombay/Mumbai to Berlin. There, I learned German and continued to study at the university. I later moved to Hanover due to my job and then to Frankfurt.

Yoga Teacher Training at Kaivalyadhama

Outside of my job, I love yoga. Yoga was a part of my upbringing, a way of life. I watched my maternal grandfather practicing asanas and copied him. Seeing my interest, he started teaching me and my brother; I was very drawn to it and still practice it today. My paternal uncle was a regular at Kaivalyadhama at Charni Road Mumbai and practised pranayama sincerely, which helped his asthma. As a young boy and teen, my father did mallakhamb (which is something like “aerial yoga”, as known in the west) – pranayama was a part of the sandhyavandanam, a ritual that he practiced every morning at 4.30 a.m. after a cold shower.

Later, yoga was a vital part of our physical training education at school – our P.T. teachers were trained in the Shivananda tradition. However, when I went to college, there was no yoga on the curriculum. That is when it struck me that it had become an inseparable part of me, so I continued to practice on my own and, at times, with my grandfather – yoga helped him manage chronic osteoarthritis until he passed away at the age of 94.

Personally, I like to combine the Iyengar yoga tradition while practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Since training to be a teacher, I have become very interested in Pranayama (yogic breath-work) and Kriyas/Shatkarmas (detox/cleansing techniques).

I am very sincere about my pranayama practice, which is mostly 40 minutes to an hour every morning. When I don’t have enough time, I practice for at least 15 minutes. I try to integrate 15 minutes of asanas later in the day. In the last few years, I have become very accident-prone, so my asana practice is shorter, although it is deeper, more mindful, and restorative.

There are many health benefits during my time practicing yoga. I used to suffer from horrible sinusitis, which would develop into bronchitis. Pranayama and the practice of certain kriyas or shatkarmas/ detox techniques (like sutra neti, vaman dhauti, and other yogic practices like sinha mudra) keep sinusitis at bay. Kapalbhati and agnisaar also help cure bloating and digestion problems. Asana practice and pranayama helps to catalyse metabolism and blood circulation, removing blockages so that energy can flow freely and the body is agile with an uplifting mood. I also have a third-degree chondropathy/arthrosis (practically no cartilage in the knee), and yoga has helped me to a very great extent – till today, I have survived without the arthroscopy which the surgeon wanted to perform eight years ago. Pranayama has also helped in the expansion of my lung capacity, so I can sing better. Yoga is a discipline that helps me handle challenging/stressful situations in life with grace.

I am also a trained yoga instructor. I taught yoga asanas for free to help friends tackle their backaches and other health issues. My mum kept telling me to teach yoga professionally, so I took my first ‘teacher training’ in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in Mysore in 2017. In 2019, I participated in a teacher training programme in yoga therapy at the prestigious Kaivalyadhama Institute in Lonavala near Mumbai. This programme was led by Paul Dallaghan, who was working on his PhD research study on Pranayama and its effects. Paul encouraged me to take this next “big” step towards my goal of teaching professionally; he continues to be my main teacher. Another teacher at Kdham, Professor Bodhe, also encouraged me to start teaching pranayama and kriyas, which are less-touched in the “west” but more effective and the true essence of yoga (as he put it). Last but not least, Alix, my friend and co-student at Kdham, kept telling me to “just start”.

Currently, I am teaching “Vinyasa Flow” at the Fitness First studio in Frankfurt. I sometimes cover for absence and teach “Yin Yoga”, and I also take an Ashtanga Yoga primary class at another studio. In the future, I plan to offer short events like a “detox day in Frankfurt”, where people can have a round of meditation, basic pranayama and yoga asanas, and an ayurveda cooking workshop. I also plan to offer in-house yoga in corporates, conduct classes on restorative and mindful Vinyasa yoga flows, yoga for different age groups (kids, teens, and senior citizens), yoga therapy for different stages/ ailments of/in life (pregnancy, arthritis, etc.), and one-on-one classes. I want to offer workshops on the devotional aspects of yoga, such as mantra chanting/singing and yogic philosophy.

Paul Dallaghan and Trupti at the Kaivalyadhama Institute Lonavala, India

The most important things I want to teach my yoga students are gratitude, humility, letting go, compassion, and open-heartedness towards oneself and others, doing everything with awareness (which is the first step to meditation), patience, and detachment to results. It was my grandmother who kept telling me to practice / to perform any task with complete love and absorption/devotion without any attachment or slightest thought about the results: “nishakama karma” means “selfless action”. For example, at school, I was the only girl in class out of 54 girls who could get a perfect dwipada shishasana or drop back into a back-bend. But I would fret without a wall if we had to perform handstands or headstands, which some others did with ease. After my pregnancy, I couldn’t do both – my body had radically changed and I got into a terrible depression because of this attachment to my body and my yoga endeavours. I had to let go and be patient and compassionate and learn to surrender. Today, after so many years, I am beginning to manage a bit but have a long way to go. Therefore, self-study and surrender to the universal supreme power/energy are equally important.

In the future, I plan to start a vlog “Earth Fire Yoga” on yoga and sustainability, where I will be discussing the roots of yoga, narrate stories about what I have learned from my family, all the underlying philosophy, and what measures we can take to live a fuller life in harmony with nature. I also hope that yoga will be introduced as a part of physical education in schools. In twelve to fifteen years from now, I hope to teach Yoga full-time and I am contemplating doing a PhD on yoga philosophy and mental health.

Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor, and Trupti

My advice to aspiring yoga students is to go to teachers with years of experience so as not to wreck their bodies. There are many gymnasts and martial artists turned yoga teachers who make vinyasas faster and, in some cases, very ferocious with little/no awareness. If the student has that sort of body condition, it is okay – otherwise, it can lead to physical mishaps. I am very choosy and very blessed to have teachers like Paul Dallaghan, O.P. Tiwariji, and Jawahar Bangera. I have also done workshops with Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, Dr. Shrikrishna Tengshe, and Rolf and Marci Naujokat. These people are all teachers who live and breathe yoga and teach the very essence of this art and science.

There is always more than tech. Technology is rather similar to yoga or the Vedic/yogic philosophy (no wonder so many Indians have taken over the IT world). Both are very dynamic and change to enhance life. In both cases, we need to learn to unlearn and relearn and be open to change. Technology is also creativity and innovation coming together. Similarly, many hobbies like yoga are expressions of creativity, making space, and unfolding to evolve to give your best to mankind. The idea of building a magazine “Otia” to share such experiences is amazing!

At Kaivalyadhama Lonavala, with my teacher training friends and co-students

Trupti’s YouTube Channel: YES – Yoga Earth Stories

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